The Power Of She

How We Can Help Create A More Inclusive World

December 26, 2016

The Power of She is a movement inviting women and girls to join hands and lift each other up. When we empower each other, we position our sisterhood for greatness. Below, one mom shares what she’s learned about acceptance from her daughter, and how we can all work together to create a world where everyone is welcome.

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Club 21 is an organization whose mission is to create a world that’s inclusive of individuals with Down syndrome. The community behind Club 21 strives to provide services and programs that enable people with Down syndrome to be fully included. But there’s another side to the challenge, and that’s getting people unfamiliar with Down syndrome to understand and accept. Audrey, one of Club 21’s founders, and mom to Estelle, who has Down syndrome, explains how we can all help shape a more inclusive world.

Q: Have there been instances when you’ve seen the kids at Club 21 push for belonging in a certain situation? What can we learn from that?

AUDREY:
Yes, of course kids with Down syndrome want access to the same opportunities as everyone else. Club 21 is passionate about changing perceptions and providing opportunities so that can happen. We are constantly seeking new resources, tools and partnerships to create a society that is ready to open its doors and its heart to the value of inclusion.

Q: When someone unfamiliar with Down syndrome meets Estelle, how do you help them understand what makes her unique?

AUDREY:
When people unfamiliar with Down syndrome met Estelle we make sure they meet Estelle…a smart, interesting, funny, charming, kind, and capable girl who just happens to have Down syndrome.
It’s important to remember we are all more alike than different, especially when it comes to feelings. If it would hurt your feelings, it will probably hurt Estelle’s feelings. If would make you feel happy, chances are, it’s going to make her feel happy, too.
The best approach is still the Golden Rule. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

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Q: How can we help others feel empowered to speak up for themselves. Has Estelle had the chance to do that?

AUDREY:
At this stage in her life, Estelle has a healthy self image and lots of confidence. I have seen her advocate for herself in a variety of ways: asking for help when she needs it, asking well-intending others to let her try first before lending a hand, asking a teacher or a friend to say it one more time so she can better understand. Estelle is quick to stop a friend who is being too hard on themselves. She will remind them they are smart, funny, or my personal favorite, glorious!  She lifts others up with her words and her actions.

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Q: One final piece of advice for those teaching acceptance?

AUDREY:
Abandon all assumptions.

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Read more stories and get inspired to make your own lasting change.

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9 Comments

  • Reply Brittany January 5, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I applaud Audrey, Estelle, Club 21 and Team Athleta for all their courageous endeavors towards awareness, inclusion, acceptance, and balance within themselves and within others! Namaste 🙂

  • Reply Laura January 6, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    So inspiring & encouraging to moms of daughters with Down syndrome everywhere. These young ladies have the power to become incredible women & I’m so excited to see Athleta giving hope to these families! As a mom of a beautiful young lady like Estelle, I’d love to know if there is a Club 21 in my area!

  • Reply Laurie a kotfer January 12, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Athleta is my favorite brand of athletic wear. I have been a long time dedicated customer. Your catalog is one I look forward to, and drag with me everywhere I go, as to make sure I see EVERY single item. I wish I could have them all. I also bring it to the corporate gym where I work and leave it out to share.

    This January 2017 issue I was BLOWN AWAY. Your Power Of She campaign is sooooo exciting. The front cover is powerful, it grabbed me right from the get go. Then…….I opened the front cover and WOW, there were little yogi’s that look a lot like my beautiful little girl. I am actually choking back tears as I write this. My little 14 year old teenager has Trisome 21 (Downs Syndrom) too.

    I am also super excited to see you have athletes of all shapes. I already loved you, and am one of your biggest fans. I wish you had a store closer to me. I am so passionate about your product and brand I would love to represent it myself.

    I can’t wait to show this catalog via social media with a wider audience and with my athletic peeps. I have already ordered a supply of catalogs to hand deliver.

  • Reply Jeff Simons January 13, 2017 at 12:26 am

    Kimi and crew! Great communication on such an important, creative and integrative way to connect with these children! We have several friends with children with Downs, and I have sensitively sent this on as an encouragement, creative resource and hope-giving message. So great to see you and your partners in powerful action! Our team is currently discussing the integration of yoga for those we work with who suffer trauma while living/working cross-culturally…

  • Reply Lydia Gray January 14, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Club 21 is truly an inspirational place. Thank you, Athleta, for showcasing this amazing group of people.

  • Reply Erica January 23, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    Abandon assumptions, I love that!
    Club 21 is great!
    My daughter, Elsie has Down Syndrome and she is a budding yogi!

  • Reply Terry brown January 24, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    What a lovely interview. Well said Audrey!
    I’m one of Estelle’s biggest fans!

  • Reply Mo January 25, 2017 at 6:26 am

    I’ve been working in Special Education for the past 8 years and began my yoga journey almost 3 years ago, getting my teaching certification last Spring. THIS BRING S ME SO MUCH JOY!!! I’m so inspired and overjoyed to see something like this happening. I advocate for my students daily and knowing places like this exist give me hope =) This definitely is sparking some ideas for my yoga community in St. Louis!! Thank you Athleta, for being a part of this and highlighting it <3

  • Reply April Vincent January 25, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Love this. ❤️❤️

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